Enterprise Ireland has launched its new Global Ambition campaign to help Irish firms develop their export plans and expand internationally, particularly in the context of Brexit.
The state agency, which is responsible for helping firms to grow their exports, said a survey of more than 350 companies found that almost nine out of 10 plan to expand into new markets over the next 12 months with North America, northern Europe and Britain emerging as the top three target markets for exporters.
Four out of five of the firms surveyed are active in the British market and 80 per cent of those plan to deepen their involvement in the UK.
But Irish companies are also looking to sell to southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, central and eastern Europe as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States and Russia, Enterprise Ireland said, while nearly one-in-five Irish companies with global expansion plans have an interest in Latin America.
The campaign was launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Enterprise Ireland's International Markets Week, which takes place in Dublin's RDS this week and will see more than 140 of the agency's staff from over 30 overseas office assist more than 400 client companies develop export plans and identify new markets in response to Brexit.
"This is an important event, particularly in the context of the UK’s decision to leave the EU which poses new challenges for Irish exporters," Kenny said. "The new Global Ambition campaign launched today reinforces Enterprise Ireland’s work to encourage more exporters to scale up their export plans and advise those considering international expansion."
Enterprise Ireland's chief executive Julie Sinnamon said the survey results showed Irish firms had ambitious plans and were not afraid to "travel far and wide".
"But we need to continue to drive the ambition of Irish exporters, especially in the aftermath of Brexit and now that we have a clear indication on the timing of Article 50. That’s why today we are launching our new Global Ambition initiative to encourage, educate and enable exporters to develop their export plans and expand on a significant international scale."
The campaign features the stories of ambitious, successful Irish exporters, she said.